Nation & World News

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty To 30 Federal Counts In Boston

By Bill Chappell on July 11th, 2013

Appearing in the same Boston federal courtroom as many of the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 counts Wednesday, during an arraignment hearing.

Tsarnaev has been indicted on charges that he used a weapon of mass destruction in the bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. He also faces charges related to crimes allegedly committed during a flight from law enforcement with his late brother, Tamerlan, including the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier.

The three people killed at the marathon site were Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, Mass., Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Mass., and Lu Lingzi, 23, of China, a student at Boston University, as Mark wrote for The Two-Way this morning.

The federal trial of Tsarnaev could last up to four months, prosecutors said today; the government plans to call “up to 100 witnesses,” according to reporter Jim Armstrong of Boston’s WBZ TV, who was in the court room today. The hearing was not broadcast on the air or via the Internet.

The full indictment against Tsarnaev was not read aloud in today’s hearing. As each charge against him was read aloud, the suspect was required by Judge Marianne Bowler to answer “guilty” or “not guilty” — an attempt by Tsarnaev’s defense attorney to have him answer “not guilty” to all the charges was not allowed.

From Armstrong, we have these impressions:

“Tsarnaev keeps glancing behind him, looking to see who is in court.”

“He speaks with a slight accent, but you can understand him clearly.”

“The left side of Tsarnaev’s face appears to have some kind of injury to it, though I couldn’t get close enough to discern more.”

“The brace, or cast, on his left hand also seems to include his wrist.”

“Overall sense I’m left with was of a fidgety young man who, to my eye, almost appeared medicated. He looked drowsy.”

The next court date for Tsarnaev is set for Sept. 23. More than half the counts he faces could result in the death penalty.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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